Descriptions with Estar: Spanish Lesson 19

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This is the nineteenth lesson in our beginner level Spanish course and we will look at Spanish Descriptions with Estar.

In our previous lesson we looked at descriptions with Ser. Both Ser and Estar are the verb ‘To be’ in Spanish. Ser is used for descriptions that are ‘permanent’ such as physicality and personality and now we will practice descriptions of things which are ‘non-permanent’. We learned in Lesson 9 that the Spanish verb Estar is used for describing non-permanent things such as location and feelings and we will now practice making Descriptions with Estar.

First, let’s remind ourselves of how to conjugate Estar for all persons:

(Yo) Estoy: I am
(Tú) Estás: You are
(Él/Ella) Está: He/She is
(Nosotros/as) Estamos: We are
(Vosotros/as) Estáis: You are
(Ellos/as) Están: They are

Describing location:

We use Estar when we wish to describe where something or someone is located.

For example:

¿Dónde estás ahora?: Where are you now?
Estoy en el museo: I am in the museum

¿Dónde está tu hermano?: Where is your brother?
Está en Inglaterra: He is in England

¿Dónde están Silvia y María?: Where are Silvia and Maria?
Están en la biblioteca: They are in the library

With all of these examples of Descriptions with Estar they clearly describe temporary situations, with people in places that they are not always or usually. You should also be aware, however, that Estar is also used rather than Ser for descriptions of permanent locations. Basically, for all descriptions of locations we use Estar.

For example:

¿Dónde está Madrid?: Where is Madrid?
Madrid está en el centro de España: Madrid is in the centre of Spain

¿Dónde está Sevilla?: Where is Sevilla?
Sevilla está en el sur de España: Sevilla is in the south of Spain

¿Dónde estan Bilbao y San Sebastián?: Where are Bilbao and San Sebastian?
Bilbao y San Sebastián están en el norte de España

Descriptions with Estar emtions

Describing moods and emotions:

We use el verbo Estar when we want to describe emotions and moods because they are generally non-permanent.

To practice this first we will learn some useful new adjectives (describing words):

Contento/a: Happy
Triste: Sad
Enfadado/a: Angry
Aburrido/a: Bored
Cansado/a: Tired
Preocupado/a: Worried
Sorprendido/a: Surprised
Celoso/a: Jealous
Asustado/a: Scared
Relajado/a: Relaxed
Estresado/a: Stressed

Let’s practice with some example sentences:

¿Cómo estás?: How are you?
Estoy muy contento: I am very happy

¿Cómo estáis?: How are you?
Estamos enfadadas: We are angry

¿Cómo está tu madre?: How is your mother?
Mi madre está estresada: My mother is stressed

¿Cómo está Antonio?: How is Antonio?
Antonio está preocupado: Antonio is worried

¿Cómo están Juan y Marta?: How are Juan and Marta?
Juan y Marta están tristes: Juan y Marta are sad

These are all descriptions of non-permanent emotions or moods. It should be pointed out that it is possible to use some of these adjectives with Ser if you specifically wish to make the point that your description is ‘permanent’.

For example:

Sandra está celosa ahora: Sandra is jealous now
Sandra es una persona celosa: Sandra is a jealous person

That’s all for this lesson about the Descriptions with Estar. We recommend that you practice what you have been learning in this course by creating your own sentences. For example, you can write sentences describing emotions and locations with Estar and physicality and personality with Ser.

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